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Deep sadness over death of Maori Queen

Don Brash MP National Party Leader

15 August 2006

Deep sadness over death of Maori Queen

National Party Leader Don Brash says it is with deep sadness that he learnt tonight of the death of the Maori Queen, Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu.

"Dame Te Atairangikaahu's immense popularity was underlined in May this year when thousands upon thousands joined celebrations for the 40th anniversary of her coronation.

"During her 40-year reign she received a host of national and international honours, and presided over substantial gains for Maori, including significant progress on the settlement of outstanding Treaty of Waitangi claims.

"My colleagues and I will be among many thousands of New Zealanders who will visit Turangawaewae Marae in the coming days to pay our respects to a great New Zealander," says Dr Brash.

Meanwhile, National Party Deputy Leader and Maori Affairs spokesman Gerry Brownlee says Dame Te Atairangikaahu conducted herself with the utmost dignity and earned great respect.

"I wish to convey my deepest sympathies to Dame Te Atairangikaahu's family. I note that she is the longest serving Maori monarch and she will be deeply missed."

ENDS

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